Located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, Ancona is an Italian city that is the capital of the Marche region of central Italy. The beautiful beaches are one of the main attractions of the area and are where tourists spend much of their time. However, there are many other things to see or do in the city and the surrounding area.
Although there are several fantastic beaches along this stretch of the coastline, one of the most popular spots is Spiaggia del Passetto. This is a pleasant beach to relax and sunbathe during the warmer months and is also a picturesque place to visit.
Piazza della Repubblica and the Harbor
The hub of Ancona is the Piazza della Repubblica as this is the stretch of road running along the coast of the city. To the north end of the piazza, there is the Arco di Traiano which is a Roman arch that was erected in 115 AD. A large part of the area was uncovered in an archaeological dig so visitors can see the remains of the original port structure and ancient sections of a wall that was built to protect the port. The harbor lies to the west.
There are several interesting museums to visit in this city and two of the best are the National Archaeological Museum and the Museo Diocesano. The former consists of archaeological artifacts found in the area surrounding Ancona while the latter is housed in the former Bishop’s Palace and boasts stunning artworks and religious artifacts.
Cattedrale di San Ciriaco
Ancona’s cathedral lies on top of Monte Guasco and is reached by a winding road with steps. It was built on the site of a former temple that was dedicated to Venus Euplea who was a goddess that protected sailors. When looking through the glass floor panels of the cathedral, it is possible to see the remains of the bases of the temple’s columns. The cathedral is from the 12th century and is an example of the Byzantine-Romanesque style of architecture. From its elevated position, the cathedral has panoramic views across the city, the surrounding area, and the Adriatic Sea.
Piazza del Plebiscito
The Piazza del Plebiscito is one of the main roads through the city. It is a fantastic area to look at examples of the local architecture as it is lined with interesting public buildings and structures. Some of these include San Domenico church, Palazzo Mengoni Ferretti, the Palazzo del Governo, the Palazzo Benincasa, and the Civic Tower. This street is also home to many lovely cafes, so it is a great place to grab a bite to eat and relax.
Santa Maria della Piazza
This 13th-century church still has the flooring of the 6th-century church that was located there previously. There is an intricately carved portal and a highly-decorated façade of Dalmatian marble with arches. While the interior is simple, this is still a fine example of Romanesque architecture and is one of the most significant churches in Ancona.
The Roman amphitheater is built into the slope of Monte Guasco. Built in the reign of Emperor Augustus, it is believed it was a training ground for gladiators. It is decorated with mosaics from the Augustan Age and boasts thermal baths.
Passetto and War Memorial
On the hill by Passetto Beach lies the Passetto Monument. This white marble structure is a memorial to World War I. There are long staircases leading to the monument. If you stand at the top of the hill by the monument on a clear day, you can see the Croatian coast. By the beach is an old wooden port. This has caves that are carved into the rock and were once used by the fishermen to store their boats.